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Faux Hot Cross Buns

The closest I’ve ever came to a hot cross bun while growing up was reciting the nursery rhyme, “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns”.

I never actually knew what a hot cross bun was.  I grew up in a cornfield in Indiana, after all, so I didn’t know very much of the world!

Later on, I came to realize that a hot cross bun is a sweet, golden bun speckled with raisins and marked with a cross on top, and sold at Easter time.

The cross is supposed to symbolize the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Or at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me about hot cross buns.


Whatever the original meaning of hot cross buns, it is obvious that they have evolved over the years.

Hot cross buns can now be found studded with chocolate chips instead of dried fruits, and I recently even tasted a mocha-flavored hot cross bun.

Yeast, of course, is used to make these buns and for this reason I have been put off of ever making them myself.

It seems quite a few of us are a little nervous when it comes to baking with yeast.

I can’t quite explain it, but it just sounds scary.  

If a recipe calls for yeast, I skip over it, never to look at it again!

One of these days I will face my fears, because I’d really like to make some good old-fashioned cinnamon rolls.

In the latest issue of delicious. magazine, April 2010, there is a recipe for hot cross muffins, or faux hot cross buns, if you will.  

Being a muffin recipe, you know that they will not be using yeast.  

I had a look over the recipe and decided I’d try these out.

However, I’d be replacing the dried fruit with, you guessed it, chocolate chips.  Hey, this is The Sweetest Kitchen, isn’t it!?


The resulting muffin looks like a close relative of the traditional hot cross bun, tastes similar, but of course, lacks the original texture of the hot cross bun which is provided by the yeast.

The cross is made with a simple, thick confectioners’ sugar glaze.

This is a dense, yet moist, muffin that tastes great warmed up with a cup of coffee for breakfast.  

It’s super easy to whip up for quick treats during this long Easter weekend.


Faux Hot Cross Buns

A simple, yet delicious recipe for faux hot cross buns. If you’re not ready to delve into the world of yeasted buns, these muffins are a great alternative!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: taste.com.au


  • 135 g chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups 375g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup 165ml sunflower oil
  • 1 cup 250ml buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g caster sugar plus extra 2 tbs
  • 80 g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray and line with paper cases.
  • Sift the flour, soda and spices into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and sugar until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, place the extra 2 tbs sugar in a pan with 2 tbs water and simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze over the muffins.
  • Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough hot water to make a thick, pipable icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, then serve.


The original recipes calls for currants and cranberries, but being the chocaholic that I am, I just used chocolate chips to make a chocolate chip faux hot cross bun! Feel free to subsitute the chocolate chips with the 135g cranberries plus 150g currants from the original recipe.


7 thoughts on “Faux Hot Cross Buns”

  1. Wow, these look stunning. I’ve been wanting to try and make these this year for easter but I’ve been so busy. I love your recipe.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. please stop by my blog and enter my giveaway for £50 or $75 worth of Amazon vouchers 😀 I’ve just unveiled my new blog and am doing a give away to celebrate 😀

  2. These look great. Think I will cheat, though, and try B.C. boxed muffin mix, add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter, use dried fruit (to stay close to the original), use sunflower oil and moisten with the buttermilk. And of course frost in a cross. Would like to know 200g of sugar equals, though?
    Thanks for your posting of this great receipe.

  3. […] “food porn” on the internet. Her photographs are simply mouthwatering! I love her recipe for hot cross buns – I remember learning the song as a kid but never knew what they looked like! I’ll have to try […]

  4. […] to eat them. If you don’t like hot cross buns but like the look of them then this recipe for Faux Hot Cross buns from Sweet Kitchen (which are in fact chocolate chip muffins) are a nice […]


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